Wednesday, May 27, 2009

San Francisco Vacation day 4

Today we had decided to do our own walking tour. And what a walk it was! We walked all along Fishermans Warf and took in what I believe was ALL the sights it had to offer. The best part of the Warf for me was watching the California Sea Otters. They were so funny. If the wind hadn't been so bad I could have stayed there, watching them for hours.
After we "finished" with the Warf, we went to ride the cable cars. The line was 45 minutes long, but we decided to do it anyway. Finally our turn arrived and we rode it over to China Town. We then walked China Town and Nob Hill. We caught the cable car again and rode to the crookest street. We walked down one side of it and went back up the other, all the while watching people trying to drive down it. It was funny. John and I both were glad NOT to be driving down that street. From there we caught the car car again and rode back down to the Warf.
After eating dinner we walked to Ghiradelli Square, we enjoyed the best icecream sundae's. I had a peanut butter and fudge, John had their midnight revere. YUMMY! Well worth the cost, and once again making me glad we don't live there becasue we would go broke eating all those sundaes. After our sundaes we walked down municipal pier (kinda scary), in hope to see the city lighting up for night. On our walk back we stopped at the little beach and I had to test the water. Brrrrr! It was so cold.
We walked and walked and walked, until we thought we could go no further and we finally went back to our hotel. To say my legs hurt is a huge understatement, but so worth it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

San Fran Day 3 City Tour, Muir Woods and Salsalito

We spent the morning going on a tour of the city. The tour was by bus and we went ALL over the city. It was nice. The only down fall is being on a tour bus you are restricted to their time schedules and stops. I enjoyed the the tour, where John didn't as much. My only complaint is not stopping more often to take in the sights. John's complaints were not enough of the city, stops to short, and not stopping enough. Our tour guy was an Italian man, who was very funny and quite knowledgeable of the city. We went through some of the "neighborhoods" of San Francisco, like China Town, Union Square and of course across the Golden Gate bridge. It was another COLD, windy and foggy day.
In the afternoon, we took another tour bus and went to Muir Woods and Salsalito. Muir Woods was beautiful! The redwood trees were amazing! The tree were at least 250 feet tall. John was in heaven. His dream now is to one day climb one. Our tour guide wasn't as good as our morning guy and only gave us an hour to explore the woods. We felt like we were in such a hurry and this place is so calm and beautiful you just want to leisurely walk through and take you time exploring. From Muir Woods we went to Salsalito. This is a huge tourist trap place. John and I didn't really enjoy it. It was just a lot of shops and not much else. You can pay to take the ferry back over to San Francisco, but the ferry was due for quite a while and decided to take the tour bus back. Tomorrow we are planning on riding the cable cars and do our own walking tour of the city.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

San Francisco Day 2 - Alcatraz

Today we visited Alcatraz, a must see for anyone visiting the Bay area. Tickets go fast so ordering online is best (which is what we did,whew!). It started out as a cold and windy day. The boat ride was nice but man we were COLD. The views were amazing though, we were blessed not to have the fog though it was overcast.
When you get to the island you are greeting by a park ranger who goes over the rules of the island. they are plain and simple, like don't go where it is marked close for your safety, etc. From there you can stop in and watch a 10-15 minute movies that goes over a brief history of the island, or you can continue your walk up the the prison (like going up a thirteen story building). We choose to watch the movie first. It was very informative, and there is a lot that we had never heard before.
After the movie, we made are walk up to the prison. It actually isn't as hard as one may think. Once inside you are greeted again and asked what language you speak. You are then given a headset that will take you on an audio tour of the prison. It is very interesting. You can stop and pause the audio at anytime, and can take as much time as you would like on the island and prison building.
One of the best parts was when two little boys, I would venture to say ages 5 and 3, shut themselves in on of the open cells. It was funny. Their mom however, didn't see the humor at that time. Since the boys were "stuck" in there a "manager" and another worker were called to get the boys out. What was neat was to be able to see how the cell doors operate (by remote, the technology was cool to see) and hearing them shut. It was awesome. The boys were released unharmed.There is SO much history that surrounds this island, that it is so hard to sum up here. My recommendation is to check it out yourself. You won't be disappointed. I know we will be back one day, hopefully with our kids (and hopefully they don't lock themselves in a cell too. teehee)I know the history will not be lost on them either.

Friday, May 22, 2009

San Francisco vacation Day 1

John and I decided a while ago that we really needed some "mom and dad" alone time. Other than an occasional overnight-er we have not left then kids and been alone in 12 years. So with that in mind we planned a long getaway weekend alone to San Francisco. Things fell into place rather slowly at first, but in the end everything came together.
Day one was mostly spent getting here to San Francisco. We packed everything the night before and yesterday afternoon we were on our way. I went to drop the kids off at my parents (THANKS MOM & DAD)and found that my car wouldn't start. John was at work, my neighbors gone to work and I thought "Now what"? Suddenly and very unexpectedly my phone rang and it was a good friend and neighbor a few streets over, and even though she was calling me for a favor, I can't help but believe that there was divine inspiration she new I needed her help. With her help we jump started my car and I was on my way. After the kids were all settled and good-bye hugs and kisses were given, I was on my way to pick up John from work, then on to the airport.
Now, John and I haven't flown in 12 years and to say things have changed is an understatement. Still, with all the changes we made it through security pretty quickly. Then was the wait for the plane.
Our plane cabin was SO tiny! I HATED it. Glad it was a smooth ride though. I had a little girl behind me who cried for the last 45 minutes of our trip (and I use little lightly, she was at least 12 years old). From the airport, we took a shuttle to our hotel, the Tuscan Inn.
After we checked in and place our belongings in our room we were off to explore the Warf. where we saw very "interesting" people. We stopped to watch a street performer/comedian/fire eater. He was really funny and was amazing with his torches. From there we went and had a bite to eat at the Wipeout cafe, on pier 39. It was really good. The wind picked up and got really cold so, we had to buy long sleeve shirts and jackets. After we headed back to our hotel, we were pretty tired. Tomorrow we are off to Alcatraz.